According to HHS.gov/Healthcare, “7 out of 10 deaths among Americans each year are from chronic diseases, and almost 1 out of every 2 adults has at least one chronic illness,” plus “almost 1 in every 3 children in our nation is overweight or obese, which predisposes them to chronic disease.”
As a result of the Prevention and Public Health Fund and the Affordable Care Act, new measures are being taken to prevent chronic disease and health issues. Over time, this will have a dramatic affect on the health of communities across America.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), “Prevention should be woven into all aspects of our lives, including where and how we live, learn, work and play. Everyone—government, businesses, educators, health care institutions, communities and every single American—has a role in creating a healthier nation.”
The Role of Prevention in Community Health
The Prevention Strategy that was put in place by the Prevention and Public Health Fund is working to achieve the following:
- Addressing the factors that influence health, such as lifestyle choices and everything that affects those choices like the availability and affordability of healthy foods, workplace conditions, environmental conditions, housing, health education an transportation
- Transforming the way we go about medical care in America – focusing on wellness and prevention instead of sickness after the fact
- Preventing disease, detecting it early and managing conditions that do arise before they become severe
- Providing communities with the resources they need to promote healthy lifestyles
- Making sure healthy choices are easy, accessible and affordable in each community
Having a community-wide focus on prevention not only has the power to improve the health of our nation but also the quality of life and prosperity we can enjoy. When we are healthier, we are happier and more productive and our healthcare costs are reduced since we require less medical care. Prevention programs help to keep Americans healthy at every stage of life. For example, healthy communities have children who miss less school and get better grades, adults who miss less work and make a better contribution to society, and seniors who maintain their independence and are able to stay in their homes longer.
Any prevention strategy must include the following key initiatives in order to be successful:
- Evidence-based interventions for preventing chronic diseases
- Tobacco cessation services
- Obesity prevention and fitness education
- Preventing drug abuse and excessive alcohol use
- Healthy eating
- Active living
- Injury and violence-free living
- Reproductive and sexual health
- Mental and emotional wellbeing
- Immunization expansion
- Employer wellness programs and increased employee participation
- Technology that supports these directives
- Training of healthcare providers to focus on well-care instead of just sick-care
- Develop ways to predict disease before it comes up
- Improved transparency so that healthcare consumers know what they are getting and for what cost
- Patient participation and compliance
All of these initiatives are accomplished with CarpeVITA’s Health Networks using our CV4P™ approach. CV4P™ stands for Prediction, Prevention, Personalization and Participation. When those four things are the focus of healthcare, individuals and healthcare providers are able to work together in unique ways to bring about new levels of health and wellness.
All in all, Americans can expect a growing amount of emphasis on prevention in the coming years. It will provide numerous benefits for the health of our nation, some of which include:
- Healthier & Safer Community Environments – This includes every environment in the community, such as workplace environments, ethnicities, groups and geographic populations to name a few.
- Expanded Access to Clinical and Community Prevention Efforts – This is made possible by opening up more programs and access to those programs so that everyone can attend
- Empowering People to Make Healthy Choices – To do this, new resources and information are being provided to help people make healthy lifestyle choices.
- Eliminating Health Disparities – This is achieved by making healthy choices possible for all ethnicities and minorities.